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Warren Quimby, a pharmacist and night manager at a twenty-four-hour drugstore in Los Angeles, is a devoted husband to his wife Claire, even after he finds evidence that she has been unfaithful to him. Claire, who is more interested in the gifts she receives from her mysterious male friends, than her marriage, shows little appreciation for the long hours Warren works to support her. When Warren finally saves enough money to buy a house in the suburbs, Claire announces that she will not to live outside the city. She eventually leaves Warren to live with her paramour, Barney Deager, who has impressed her with his new car. Refusing to accept Claire's desertion, Warren vows to fight to save his marriage, and goes to Deager's house in Malibu to attempt to win back Claire. Warren finds Claire on the beach with Deager, and when an argument ensues, Deager gives Warren a severe beating, and warns him never to return. Humiliated, Warren returns to his drugstore and tells his co-worker, Freddie, about the incident. When Freddie declares that he would have killed Deager had he been treated in such a manner, Warren takes Freddie's idea seriously and lays out a plan to kill the man who stole his wife. As part of his methodical plot, Warren exchanges his eyeglasses for contact lenses and creates a new look for himself. He then picks a new name for himself, Paul Sothern, and moves into a new apartment, where he plans to live during weekends. While moving some of his possessions into his the apartment, Warren meets Mary Chanler, a neighbor and an amateur photographer, who inadvertently takes a picture of him. One day, Warren dials Deager's telephone number and, while speaking to Deager's valet, Narco, identifies himself as Paul Sothern and makes a vague threat against Deager. Though he devotes most of his time to placing evidence that will divert suspicion away from him as Deager's murderer, Warren begins a romance with Mary. After visiting Deager and pretending to make amends with him, Warren concludes that the time has come to kill him. He returns to the house one last time and finds Deager asleep in his living room. However, just as he is about to stab him, Warren realizes that his wife is not worth murdering for and gives up his plan. Warren then decides to continue his romance with Mary, but complications arise when Claire returns to Warren and tells him that Deager has been murdered. Warren orders Claire to leave, but their quarrel is interrupted by the arrival of police detectives Lt. Collier Bonnabel and Lt. Edgar Gonsales, who know that Claire left the murder scene before the police arrived. During the police interrogation, Claire suggests that both she and Warren were friends of Deager, thus making Warren as likely a suspect as she. After interrogating Narco and learning of the mysterious telephone call from a man named Paul Sothern, the detectives determine to find Paul. Bonnabel later fakes a romantic interest in Claire to get more information from her. Meanwhile, Mary, who has not seen the man she knows as Paul in some time, registers a missing person report at the police department and gives the police the picture she took of him. Bonnabel soon realizes that Paul and Warren are the same person, and after Claire identifies the man in Mary's picture as Warren, he arrests Warren and subjects him to a thorough interrogation. Bonnabel begins to doubt that Warren is the killer, and after releasing him for lack of evidence, he sets a trap for Claire. Bonnabel's plan succeeds when Claire goes to Warren's weekend apartment and tries to plant the gun that she used to kill Deager. Claire is arrested, leaving Warren free to resume his romance with Mary.